Shale explorers extended their retreat into a 10th week, dropping the number of oil rigs at work in the U.S. to the lowest since 2009 as some struggle to stay afloat. The number of rigs drilling for oil in the country fell by 21 to 237 this week, according to Baker Hughes Co. data released Friday. The count has plunged from 683 in mid-March. In the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico, 13 were idled, leaving 162 active rigs in the world’s biggest shale patch.
Although oil has rebounded above $30 a barrel this week, prices are still not high enough for most producers to make a profit. Futures are down by nearly half since the start of the year after worldwide lockdowns to slow the spread of the coronavirus sent demand for fuel plunging.